POPULISM & PANDEMICS

Political Beliefs Can Kill You

I and a group of friends took part in a “Ridin’ with Biden” campaign event last October in Florida. We came across a group of Trump supporters camped out in front of an early voting location and I put my large megaphone out the window of the car and yelled, “He’s going to kill you! He’s going to kill you!” The trumpers were oblivious to the way Trump’s Covid-19 policies were hurting and killing us. I get it, they love him and trust him with their grandmother’s lives. Why? It’s all part of a populism religion they decided to follow.

This sectarian concept has overtaken large portions of our country and our elected representatives. Sectarianism is a political or cultural conflict between two groups often related to their form of government. Prejudice, discrimination or hatred can arise in these conflicts, depending on the political status quo and which group holds more power within the government. One of the worst parts of America’s current populism is a constant war on science. By denigrating experts, big, strong-man populist leader Donald Trump first gets the attention of the downtrodden workers and eventually entices them to seek his advice rather than that of credentialed, knowledgeable experts.

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria wrote in the Washington Post in March of 2020, “Trump, for his part, fuels fears by constantly talking about how the disease came from China and how he heroically saved American lives because he ‘closed the borders to China’ in late January, 2020. Thank goodness he doesn’t seem to know that the H1N1 virus was first detected in Mexico. If he did, he might close the border with Mexico, just to be safe.” Donald Trump has never trusted any opinion that is opposed to his own viewpoint.

Zakaria came back to that discussion on his CNN show yesterday morning. His experts were fair to point out that not all populist leaders in the world denied the danger of Covid, but they often tend to rebuke experts, disconnect from science and make decisions based on what they think their followers will swallow, rather than the truth. In the beginning of the pandemic, Indian’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was rather draconian with the lockdown and those polices kept the virus at bay. Then, he made the same mistake Trump did by pushing to reopen the country too soon. This caused a crisis of pain and death that will probably destroy his political career.

Brazil has a leader who was in total denial of the coronavirus and mingled with people at rallies, shook hands and called Covid-19, “just a little flu,” until he got it himself. He then softened his misdirection but continued to blame everyone else for what was happening in his country. The more people listened to him the more people died. He repeatedly fired his national health directors and appointed replacements, believing mismanagement was causing the spread of the virus.

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro

At this point, Brazil has more than 14.7 million people infected and more than 400,000 have died. Right now, India has more than 350,000 new cases each day and a total of 19.5 million infections with more than 215,000 deaths. We don’t know how many people have died in China or Russia, where dictators make policies. Some say that China, where the virus originated, has only 4,636 deaths. In a country of 1.4 billion that’s a totally unbelievable number.

Some sources say that Russia has 109,000 deaths, which makes more sense than the China statistic. Remember, Russia has a population of 145 million people. We know the case counts of democracies are more accurate. We also know that overzealous populist leaders, irresponsible state governors and state-run media have cooked the books on Covid-19. But as the World Health Organization puts more pressure on nations to cough up current statistics, we learn more about the effect of this virus on the planet.

The democracies of the U.K. and Israel had some rough coronavirus moments, but also amazing accomplishments. The U.K. was on the edge of disaster and Prime Minister Boris Johnson came down with a wicked case of Covid-19. In the U.K. currently, more than 34 million people have had a first vaccine dose and over 14 million have had a second. An average of 415,000 second doses are now being given daily. The National Health Service in the U.K. is very organized and thorough. For example, 98% of the people over age 50 in Scotland have received at least one vaccination already. The lowest percentage in that same category is London, with 87%.

Israel has done a fantastic job with vaccinations. As of May 2, 2021, Israel had fully vaccinated 87.3% of its population. Even with 900,000 people who contracted coronavirus in the country, they had only 6,363 known deaths. That is a particularly good outcome in a country of 9 million. Perhaps their general population has more awareness of science and medicine.

Populism attracts people who often reject things based on status or labels. If an intellectual in medicine is presented as an elitist by a populous leader, their followers tend to adopt the simple lie rather than the complicated realities of math, science and medicine. It’s interesting to note that a person doesn’t have to be less educated to take on a belief counter to well-known and proven facts. Steve Jobs denied conventional medical wisdom and it killed him. The word we should focus on is “wisdom.”

We all want our leaders to apply a sense of experience, knowledge and good judgment to their actions or decisions, but in some cases, they may not have enough knowledge or experience to act effectively. Where they lack knowledge, they must trust and depend on others for facts and guidance. If they don’t have good judgement, they might take advice from people who are totally full of shit. The quality of judgement is evaluated after the fact. Leaders talk of using their “best” judgement, but they cannot say it’s good judgement until their action bears fruit.

India’s Narendra Modi

India’s populist leader Narendra Modi made good choices in the beginning, but since the country was organized around a strict caste system the first wave of Covid-19 hit the lower classes and then slowed. When Modi began believing his own press, he opened the country to political rallies and large religious events, which was not only bad judgement but fatal to thousands.

Bad choices and ignoring science have consequences. This from Reuters, “The incumbent chief minister’s party in India’s West Bengal state has defeated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in a state election held as the coronavirus pandemic surged to crisis levels. Modi has been criticized for focusing on the elections instead of making the pandemic his top priority.” So, there’s another populist who cares more about power than people. Bye, Bye!

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


ANTI-VAXXERS VS. COMMON SENSE

The Most Dangerous Side Effect of Trump

I almost fell to the floor when I heard this. Miami’s Centner Academy outlined its controversial coronavirus policy in a letter to parents, encouraging faculty and staff to hold off on being vaccinated “until there is further research available.” Those who do wish to be vaccinated are asked to wait until the end of the school year. REALLY?

So, what happens if a teacher comes down with COVID and dies? Will the academy take money out of their private bank account to help the teacher’s family? Yeah, fat chance. How about this, and I mean it in a tongue and cheek kind of way, what if a toddler comes down with coronavirus and dies? That’s major lawsuit stuff. Should you want to call the academy to ask why they are doing this, here’s their number: 305-576-6070.

I am not a big fan of private schools. Two of our four children attended private school in Atlanta for a few years and the results were horrible. The educators at the school totally missed the reason we had put them there, and our kids suffered because of it. But hey, that was just one awfully expensive school, with the emphasize on “awful.” Our two kids who went to public school excelled and both are now highly paid professionals. That’s not to say that the other two are not successful, but there is no reason to believe that public school was any sort of problem that kept our kids from developing.

The USA Today Network obtained a copy of the letter the Miami school sent to parents, “Leila Centner, co-founder of the Centner Academy in the city’s Design District, said in a letter to parents the decision was not easy to make but that it’s unclear on the impact the ‘experimental drug’ has on unvaccinated people. It is in the best interests of the children to protect them from the unknown implications of being in close proximity for the entire day with a teacher who has very recently taken the COVID-19 injection.” Ms. Centner continued, “It is our policy, to the extent possible, not to employ anyone who has taken the experimental COVID-19 injection until further information is known.”

You might be wondering why a woman who runs an academy with the slogan “The Brain School” hasn’t talked to medical professionals, the health department or some good lawyers about the decision to not only make this ridiculous policy but also send a letter solidly proclaiming her intent. Ms. Centner suggested vaccinated individuals can pass along symptoms to those unvaccinated, a claim that has been debunked by doctors and medical experts. Despite that, she thinks she’s right.

People like Leila Centner will inspire more people to avoid the Covid-19 vaccination and our global pandemic will continue for much longer than need be. And who is to blame when all this shit hits the beach? I name the Number One Denier, Donald John Trump. If only he had taken coronavirus more seriously, vigorously pushed mask wearing and was a bit more patient with the pandemic, we could have lowered the damage to America. The lady who runs the Centner School probably voted for Trump twice and thinks he should be, or maybe even believes he is, the president now. Leila, he shouldn’t be and he’s not.

Look what is taking place in India right now and you might be more careful with who your kids hang out with in these “uncertain” times. Here are some facts: 569,771 Americans have died from Covid-19. As of this writing, we have administered 232,407,669 shots of one of the three coronavirus vaccines. Covid-19 inoculations are safe, effective and millions of people in this country have been vaccinated under the most intense safety monitoring in US history. Anaphylaxis after a COVID-19 injection is rare, but should it happen vaccination providers can effectively and immediately treat the reaction. That’s why you must wait fifteen minutes after you receive the shot.

People who deny the value of the vaccine don’t understand how damaging the virus is, or they are believing untruths from bad sources. We know that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can cause rare blood clots in people with low platelet counts or preexisting conditions, but the track records of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are excellent. People don’t die and they are far less likely to spread the virus two weeks after the second shot. The Miami school should have given their employees shots months ago, they all would have qualified because of the essential nature of their work. Ms. Centner is a fool, maybe even brain dead.

Donald Trump and the First Lady both received virus shots before they left the White House, but there was no publicity about it. Were they secretly ashamed to be confronting their own mortality? Why the big secret? Why didn’t our ex-President give a full-throated endorsement at that time? He could have saved lives.

Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson are hypocrites. The word hypocrite comes from the Greek word hypokrites — “an actor” or “a stage player.” It literally translates as “an interpreter from underneath” which reflects the work of ancient Greek actors who wore masks and spoke from underneath them. The TV makeup that Carlson and Trump wear doesn’t cover up the fact that both are afraid of the virus. I am willing to wager that Tucker Carlson, with his decree that mask wearing is demonic, has been fully vaccinated.

I hope all the thinking people in America withdraw their kids from private schools and let them acquire some of that good old-fashioned immunity by contracting endless colds and flus in our schools. The “kid herds” in our tax-funded public schools carry a better garden variety germ than children in elite schools, especially those with intellectually vacuous anti-vax teachers.

We take advice from fake medical doctors on TV all the time. Dr. Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon but has given some strange diet advice over the years. Dr. Phil is not a medical doctor. Dr. Atlas, late of the Coronavirus Task Force, was an X-ray doctor, not a virologist. Now we have people like Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan suggesting that young healthy Americans do not need the coronavirus vaccine. Rogan was specific, “I can tell you as someone who has — both my children got the virus. It was nothing. I mean, I hate to say that if someone’s children died from this, I’m very sorry that that happened. I’m not in any way diminishing that. But I’m saying the personal experience that my children had with COVID was nothing.” So, Joe, am I understanding that you hate to say you’re “very sorry?” Joe, you’re a fucking putz.

Here, let me throw some facts on this burning pyre. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, a total of 3,711,075 child COVID-19 cases have been reported, which represents 13.7% of all cases. And think about this Joe, as many as 43,000 US children have lost a parent to COVID-19. Could they have gotten the virus from their kids? Yes, they could have.

The Joe Rogans, Tucker Carlsons and Leila Centners of the world should read this: Hawaii has recorded its first COVID-related death of a child. The boy was less than ten years old and had underlying health conditions. Health experts say this should serve as a wake-up call. While severe cases of COVID-19 are rare in children, they can be deadly.

If you are not qualified to speak about infectious diseases, pandemics, vaccinations and herd immunity, would you kindly SHUT THE FUCK UP? We don’t need you. The experts have our backs.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


AMERICA’S DISPOSABLE PEOPLE

Why So Much Killing and Disregard for Life?

How many times do we need to read this, “It is unclear what motivated the shooting, but investigations are ongoing and will continue into most of the day…” One of the by-products of being in a Covid lockdown is not only did we avoid colds and the flu but the mass shootings were put on hold. Now that we are beginning to reopen, guns and shootings seem to be in the news every other day. WHY?

Jim Jordan, Representative of Ohio, once again embarrassed himself and his state by verbally abusing Dr. Anthony Fauci in a hearing on the Hill yesterday. It seems that Jordan’s agenda is to use his taxpayer-funded job to harass, vent and inflame citizens with no productive result.

The fact that Jordan disrespected Congress by not wearing a coat in a formal setting speaks to the character of the man, but isn’t it a moral affront to pit the number of people who have died from Covid-19 against the debate about when we will get all our rights back? Jordan was only trying to get on the news, which he did, but how do you think the families of those who have succumbed to the virus feel about his diatribe? Fauci is trying to save lives and Jim Jordan was yelling at him for no good reason. WHY?

All the numbers start to run together when seeing the daily stats, but we must always remember those numbers represent people. According to a Washington Post analysis of data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, during the past week thirty-eight states have reported an increase in the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19. But the national statistics don’t capture the intensity of the coronavirus emergency in the hotspots. Michigan reported more than 10,000 new infections on Tuesday alone. On Wednesday, the state reported an average of 46 deaths a day, up from 16 a month earlier. If 46 people were killed in a mass shooting, we would be alarmed and saddened.

Remember how you felt the morning after October 1, 2017 when Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man from Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire on the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip? He killed 61 people and injured 867 of the attendees. Put the coronavirus statistics in those terms and it begets a raw emotion and perhaps depression. Every day in MICHIGAN, more than 10,000 are hospitalized with Covid and 46 to 60 of them die.

According in CNN, 45 shootings have taken place in the last thirty days in the USA. Here are a few of the more infamous ones. On March 16th, eight people were killed by a gunman at three massage businesses in Atlanta, Georgia. Six of the victims were of Asian descent. On March 22nd in Boulder, Colorado, a shooter at a supermarket killed ten people, including a police officer who was the first to respond to the scene. In Orange, California on March 31st, a gunman killed four people and critically wounded a fifth at a Southern California office building. On April 7th, former NFL player Phillip Adams shot six people, including Robert Lesslie, a prominent doctor, his wife and two of their grandchildren along with two air conditioning technicians. His brain is now being examined for possible degenerative disease that has been shown to cause violent mood swings and other cognitive disorders in some athletes and members of the military. At least in this case, we might get an answer, albeit, too late.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Just last night, a gunman opened fire outside and inside a FedEx Ground facility near the Indianapolis main airport, killing eight people, wounding several others and sending witnesses running before taking his own life. We’ll probably never learn the true motivation of this former FedEx employee, but it’s pretty damn clear we have a huge problem in the United States of America.

While we are watching bad guys with guns shooting good people without guns, we are also seeing police officers around the country shooting people for minor issues and traffic stops. We watch the court cases with witnesses and experts giving their testimony but the victims have no voice there.

I am angered by Jim Jordan’s obvious disregard for life, his disrespect of a medical expert and his disdain for a united effort to beat the virus. He’s so worried about the Frist Amendment he’s forgotten about all of our rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” My idea of happiness is not laying in a hospital room on a ventilator. Should Jordan’s shredding of policies and extra care taken to lower the spread of a virus make things worse then he’s complicit, just like Wayne LaPierre of the NRA is complicit in every mass shooting in America. Yes, I get all the Second Amendment stuff but what suggestion or steps has LaPierre made to solve the problem of American mass shootings? Bupkis.

The idea that a good guy with a gun will keep us safe is more than fallacious, it just doesn’t work at all. If we had a competent president when the global pandemic broke out, we would not have sacrificed hundreds of thousands of American lives to keep the economy rolling. It’s not helpful to debate our freedoms when we have kids being shot by cops, a virus taking a thousand lives each day and mass shootings wasting people all over the country. Where does Representative Jim Jordan get off screaming at Dr. Fauci when he has not put forth a single idea to cure Covid-19? He’s much beyond a squeaky wheel, he’s a horrendously loud human fart.

We should not have disposable people. Human life is not sacred when we talk one way about Roe vs. Wade and then other ways about gun control, national health policies and police reform. If you care only about your dogma, then you are most likely disregarding the people you supposedly serve. Elected officials have a supreme responsibility to make sure all Americans are safe — safe to live, safe to work and safe to travel without fear of becoming infected with a virus or being executed by a cop. We must get back to our values with the understanding that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean something. If not, then we are just another third-world county but with lots of money.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


EASIER OR JUST BLOWING SMOKE?

New Voter Law Is A Trojan Horse, What’s Inside?

Back in my high school days, education officials made a rule that disallowed wearing jeans to class. There was no reason given for this draconian rule. Had we not been in the suburbs but in a rural area this law wouldn’t have worked. The administrators believed that wearing tight jeans would somehow make us act up and disturb the educational process. Really?

Sometimes we make a law in search of a crime and it takes the outcries of people to reverse it. I remember when the Atlanta Braves opened a new stadium and a woman was stopped because she was carrying a small cooler containing formula for her newborn baby. Less than 48 hours after this story broke the team ownership pulled the rule. Later, they loosened the restriction even more by allowing patrons to bring in food.

Voting has always been a challenge in America. The first mistake was not making the federal election day a holiday so that no one would have to miss work to vote or miss voting to work. Not one of the newly minted voting laws fixes that problem, which is #1 on my list.

Long Voting Lines in Georgia

Then there’s this. Early voting, whether it’s motivated by a pandemic or not, is a good idea. Any rule stating that tabulation of early votes cannot take place before election day, or worse, can’t begin until after the polls have closed, is foolish. How does that help the voting process?

Because we have many states that allow mail-in voting, which is a good thing, we must make sure the United States Postal System works properly in all fifty states and territories. The idea of no-excuse absentee voting is not a rare bird, nor should it be. You can see a list of all the states that support the concept here. And in case you didn’t know, Washington, Utah, Oregon, Hawaii and Colorado use mail-in voting exclusively, so what’s the fuss all about?

Lurking inside these new laws are grievance politics, partisan wounds and leftover racism that isn’t comprehended by many, including those people forging the new laws. The concept of disallowing a person to bring food or water to a voter waiting in line is a masked attempt at voter intimidation. Here’s the language, “No person shall … give any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector…within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established,” but there’s a trick in that stick. First, “the outer edge of any building” is inappropriate, given a polling location may have voters form a line around the perimeter or the building and “150 feet” might include everyone in the voting line. Also, are states actually prepared to arrest anyone who brings food or water to those of color waiting in line? That would be very intimidating, especially since cops have guns.

What’s really upsetting is the lawmakers know there will be long lines and they are attacking their citizens in the voting lines rather than working to make the lines shorter, the wait times less and the voting process faster. Anyone who views food and water you are giving your granny as temptation for voting a certain way is irrational, cynical and stupid. If anything, one waiting in a ridiculously long line to vote might be tempted to cast their ballot against the foolish people in power.

Here’s something from today’s New York Times, “Amazon, BlackRock, Google, Warren Buffett and hundreds of other companies and executives signed on to a new statement released on Wednesday opposing ’any discriminatory legislation‘ that would make it harder for people to vote. It was the biggest show of solidarity so far by the business community as companies around the country try to navigate the partisan uproar over Republican efforts to enact new election rules in almost every state. Senior Republicans, including former President Donald J. Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, have called for companies to stay out of politics.” The sad reality is these politicians take money from large companies for campaign expenses, but when those same companies point out a problem the grifters bark at them to back off. If they feel so strongly, why not pass a law that prohibits corporate funding of any candidate, party or Super Pac? Fat chance.

We live in a fast, souped-up world where we demand speed, efficiency and accuracy, not partisan bickering and built-in voter suppression. I am sure Brian Kemp, the Governor of Georgia, believes the new voting law he signed makes things better for his state. Why then are so many people telling him the law is bad?

Here is a major flaw that has nothing to do with food and water, it’s about power and control. One of Georgia’s new provisions is the state’s right to take over county elections offices the legislature believes have “persistent problems.” It wouldn’t be a surprise should they snatch control in Fulton County, which has 800,000 mostly African American voters. The Democrats won big there, and the Republicans believe there was corruption in that county, yet after three vote recounts no fraud was found. These idiots prefer Donald Trump’s lies over their own Secretary of State, Election Board members and, oh yeah, their voters. The law effectively changes the sixty plus year tradition of the Secretary of State being the sole keeper of Election integrity and places that responsibility in the hands of a party loyalist, perhaps appointed to overturn the will of voters. WHY IS THIS NOT A BAD IDEA?

We can debate the requirement of having a picture ID to vote, We do it in Florida and it’s not a problem. Florida lets you register to vote when you get your driver’s license. A voting ID card is not a bad idea. These are frightening times.

Were you to ask representatives in the Georgia State assembly if they were racist, they would honestly say no. But should you ask any of them what would give their party a better chance of winning in the next election, he or she would tell you that fewer votes from Black people would do the trick. So, you see, it’s not racism at all, it’s merely normal southern politics. By the way, they aren’t wrong. The more African American voters the more votes will be cast for Democrats. I guess people of color don’t like the policies of those Republicans who are pushing the trojan horse into the town center. Wouldn’t it smarter to figure out what the voters really want and just give it to them? Why try to take a bottle of water out of their hands? Remember, Coca-Cola makes DASANI and they certainly would be happy to provide the state with enough water for every voter, at a reasonable price or course. After all, they are capitalists.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


IF THE GLOVE DOESN’T FIT…

Our Latest Reality TV Trial

We all remember that poignant phrase from the O.J. Simpson murder trial when his lawyer Johnny Cochran said, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” It could very well be that single line produced enough reasonable doubt to get O.J. off the hook.

The opening of the Britannica Encyclopedia article on the O.J. Simpson trial says, “…criminal trial of former college and professional gridiron football star O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. It was one of the most notorious criminal trials in American history.” It was the TV coverage that made it so intense.

The televised Simpson trial propelled one cable channel to the top of the ratings pile. It drew a massive audience to Court TV, which Time Warner renamed truTV in 2008. For years, the channel has been struggling with rebranding, trying to dissolve their courtroom image by adding more comedy and sports programming. That aside, the appeal of live courtroom coverage has never faded, especially when a compelling case is before the cameras.

Casey Anthony

According to History.com, “In 2008, the world was captivated by the bizarre behavior displayed by Casey Anthony. The then-22-year-old single mother from Orlando, Florida, was revealed to have spun a web of lies to cover up for the disappearance of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, that summer; the Facebook photos of her partying around town and a dearth of emotion in interviews fueling the charges of first-degree murder before Caylee’s body was discovered later that year.” Anthony’s attorney Jose Baez masterfully planted enough doubt in the jurors’ minds during the trial to get an acquittal. It was said there were too many unknowns, and the Facebook pictures of Ms. Anthony’s partying after her daughter was missing proved only that she was a bad mother and not a murderer. Really?

We are now in the middle of another court case being broadcast on cable TV and some Americans are mesmerized while others are repulsed. I try to avoid this TV coverage for two reasons. First, the regurgitation of the facts in the case makes me sad, angry and depressed. To repeatedly see the video of a police officer murdering a man by kneeling on his neck makes me sick. George Floyd was held down by three men face first on a Minneapolis street, and there is no US law stating that attempting to pass a counterfeit 20-dollar bill should net the perpetrator immediate execution with no trial or due process.

My second reason for avoiding the trial coverage is anger at the defense attorneys accusatory tactics and disparagements of the dead man. I know they have a job to do but that doesn’t mean I have to watch them at work. The defense has presented a theory that George Floyd died of an overdose or a heart attack induced by drugs and that contact by Officer Derek Chauvin was incidental and had little to do with the man’s demise. C’mon, we have ample proof of what happened.

Videos from bystanders, security cameras and cops alike show what happened leading up to the event, what happened outside the Cup Foods store and George Floyd’s death which took place in the street. In many ways all of us who have seen the videos are witnesses to the crime.

The release of video footage shot by a young man on the scene triggered nothing less than a worldwide response to oppression, police and government abuses and general condemnation of such incredibly brutal law enforcement. This trial has moved beyond Mr. Floyd’s murder. It’s now asking if cops have the right to kill another for any offense.

There are strong feelings in support of policework, particularly among those who have one or more family members working in law enforcement. In 2019, there were 697,195 full-time law enforcement officers employed in the United States. Various security forces and hired protection agencies are part of the more than one million people employed in United States police business, and that number does not include jail and prison corrections officers.

We should always respect the police and hope that when we need them, they arrive in time to serve and protect us. Their jobs carry a huge risk to limb and life. As we have been hearing, a cop is sometimes judged not by his body of work but rather by a single mistake they may have made along the way. That’s a tough burden to carry in any career. Many police officers and detectives retire each year without any blemish or controversial case, some even get medals for their outstanding body of work but, as the common statement goes, there are a few bad apples.

Visual Indifference Points

If convicted, Derek Chauvin will look back on the videos of him kneeing on George Floyd’s neck, cutting off the blood and oxygen supplies to the man’s brain until he died.  I wonder how many jurors will remember the look of indifference on Chauvin’s face as the testimony unfolded. What a blasé appearance, hand in the pocket and the sunglasses perched on his head as if he was hanging out with the guys at a game. It appeared to be just another day at the office for Mr. Chauvin.

I am most disturbed by the testimony of the woman who approached Officer Chauvin and identified herself as an EMT worker from Minneapolis. She asked the police to check Mr. Floyd’s pulse. A simple request really, but she was told to get back on the sidewalk. In a sense, Derek Chauvin said, “Mind your own fucking business.” She did what she was told and returned to the sidewalk, but she didn’t leave the scene. Her public duty to witness what happened was important to her. Speaking up in a court of law was paramount to her. She had no indifference, only concern.

I don’t know if a buzz word or memorable phrase will come out of this trial, but we already have those three piercing words, “I can’t breathe.” George Floyd wasn’t the first to gasp those words, but hopefully he will be the last. We give the police guns and they use them. We give the police tasers and they use them. When did we give police the right to smother, choke and strangle another human being?

Even if you don’t kill the person, if you strangle or attempt to suffocate another human, you can be charged and if convicted, punished with up 5 years imprisonment. So, any cop who uses a stranglehold on another, cuts off air to their windpipe or blood to their brain is guilty of a crime. If they kill the person, they are guilty of murder. If only we had video proof — oh wait, we do.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


GEORGIA ON MY MIND

The Party Puppet: Brian Kemp

I have read all 98 pages of the new Georgia Law with the hefty title of “Election Integrity Act of 2021.” When words like “Integrity” or “Affordable” appear in the title of a law, one might be tempted to ask if that’s true. Today we’ll look at some of the fuss around this new Georgia voting law that one side calls a good move and the other side decries as the return of “Jim Crow” laws.

Let’s start with the bill’s preamble. The writers claim that this bill addresses problems with voting in Georgia. They start with this, “Following the 2018 and 2020 elections, there was a significant lack of confidence in Georgia election systems, with many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter suppression and many electors concerned about allegations of rampant voter fraud.” That statement is true.

GA Gov. Brian Kemp

What makes this opening so remarkable is that from 2010 to 2018, Brian Kemp, the current Governor of Georgia, was the Secretary of State, the person in charge of elections. Stacey Abrams, the woman who ran against Kemp for Governor in the fall of 2018, claimed that voter suppression ran wild under Kemp. Is this new law correcting the things Kemp got away with or is it a wink and a nod to former president Donald Trump? Would an entire state legislature do this much work just to make Trump’s claim of voter fraud seem more real?

There are three things in play,1. There was a need to reform, clarify and codify various rules and regulations on elections that have been murky for years, 2. The realization that there were too many independent voting methods being used in Georgia’s 159 counties and 3. The state is getting bad publicity with long lines at polling places in the African American communities and appearing to cater to rich, white neighborhoods. By the way, Pennsylvania has a population of 12.8 million people in 67 counties. Maybe Georgia with its 10 million population should consider consolidating their 159 counties into a more manageable structure.

One aspect of the reform makes sense. Georgia has difficulty counting the ballots because each county has different procedures and abilities. Governor Kemp seems to be a spacey kind of guy without a profound understanding of many issues. In April of 2020 he admitted to just learning that asymptomatic people can spread coronavirus, a well-known fact that was discussed on the Coronavirus Task Force conference calls much earlier. He exclaimed surprise by saying, “This is a game changer for us!” and then he announced a shelter-in-place order in the state. He was also one of the first governors to reopen his state right before the big Covid spike.

Voting laws in Georgia after the Civil War were shaped around the dark dogma of segregation. When I moved to Georgia in 1977 and visited Stone Mountain Park, the main building still had segregated restrooms, a remnant of policies before the “Recent Unpleasantness,” as the Civil War was called. The building has since been remodeled but the carved stone faces of Confederate leaders sitting on their stone horses constantly stare down at people of all races.

Most people who follow politics were shocked when Georgia elected a Democratic president in 2020. A voting procedure was put in place to thwart the possibility that one African American candidate running against many white candidates could not “sneak in” with less than 50% of the votes. Once it boiled down to two candidates, the white one usually won. That rule backfired in 2020 when both US Senate races for Georgia were settled in runoff elections and each was won by a Democrat with one of them becoming the first Black Senator of Georgia. Interestingly, that 50% rule was not cast out in the new Election Integrity Act. One would think it would be tossed because without it the Republicans would have maintained at least one Senate seat.

Senators Warnock & Ossoff

It’s not just bloggers and frothing at the mouth liberals who are against Georgia’s new law. Civil rights groups, including the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter, Common Cause, and the Georgia NAACP have filed federal lawsuits charging that the law’s provisions violate the Voting Rights Act as well as the 14th and 15th Amendments.

Reading between the long lines of the new law, like the long lines at the polls, shows why Brian Kemp’s rollout of this bill was a terrible attempt at leadership and a stellar example of poor communication. Here are some key points.

The bill requires early voting from 9 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Friday but gives counties the option to open as early as 7 AM and close as late as 7 PM. Counties must hold two Saturdays of early voting from 9 AM to 5 PM and they have the option to hold early voting on one or both Sundays during the period. So, the harsh statement that the law ends Sunday voting is incorrect, BUT a county can prohibit Sunday voting and the state can do nothing about it. Not good.

Here’s one that might get some questions thrown at Kemp. Georgia previously conducted identity verification by comparing a voter’s signature on their ballot envelope or absentee voter application with a signature on file. Voters will now need to provide their driver’s license or state ID card when applying for an absentee ballot and provide one of those identifiers or the last four digits of their Social Security number to verify their ballot. The state already requires voters to show a photo ID to vote in-person. Could DNA and fingerprint matching be next? Brian Kemp said he would provide photo IDs for any resident of the state for FREE! Whoopee!

Legislators shortened the window to request an absentee ballot. Voters can now request an absentee ballot starting eleven weeks before the election and ending eleven days before the election. This seems reasonable, but I found this little gem in the lines of text, “A blank application for an absentee ballot shall be made available online by the Secretary of State and each election superintendent and registrar, but neither the Secretary of State, election superintendent, board of registrars, other governmental entity, nor employee or agent thereof shall send absentee ballot applications directly to any elector except upon request of such elector or a relative authorized to request an absentee ballot for such elector.” In other words, the action of mailing an application for an absentee ballot, a great way to promote voting, is now against the law. This was one of Donald Trump’s big complaints. Why don’t they set up a voter registration kiosk at every US Postal Service office, you know, before they close them? And while they’re at it offer Covid vaccines too!

Another provision of the new Georgia law that angers many Americans is this, “No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector, nor shall any person solicit signatures for any petition, nor shall any person, other than election officials discharging their duties, establish or set up any tables or booths on any day in which ballots are being cast: (1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established; (2) Within any polling place; or (3) Within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.”

For many years, a federal election law has been in place dealing with “electioneering” at voting locations and most states have at least a 100-foot restriction on campaigning within that area. This food and water prohibition when voter turnout is so great seems onerous, inhuman and cruel. It assumes the person giving the water or food is doing so for nefarious reasons. If a county cannot shorten the lines, then they should provide food and water.

The period between general elections and runoffs has been condensed from nine to four weeks, and that is probably good. Why was such a lengthy time needed previously? The act also sets more clear requirements for challenging a voter’s registration. “Ballot selfies” are banned. The law explicitly prohibits voters from taking a photo of voting machines or their absentee ballot. The state will also set up a voter intimidation hotline, which is good because groups of TRUMPERS were present at many polling locations. Some provisional ballots will have new restrictions. Georgia constantly purges their voter rolls and there have been cases of voters incorrectly thinking they were registered but being asked to use a provisional ballot. I have no idea if those are even counted.

Here’s the worst part of this new law. Trump couldn’t get Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to cheat for him, and Brian Kemp said he had no power over the Secretary’s role, so they have changed the structure of their government. The bill demotes the secretary of state from chairing the State Election Board, with the legislature now appointing a “nonpartisan chair” of the five-person board. The Georgia Secretary of State will be a non-voting, ex-officio member. Yes, my friends, the Republicans, you know, they guys who preach “let’s not make the government bigger” just added another layer to government.

It’s clearly a head-up-their-collective-asses move that could come back to more than haunt them. The legislature has the power to fire any chairperson of the State Election Board they disagree with, even if it involves their own election bid. When you use the word “non-partisan” and then codify “conflict of interest,” you end ethics oversight. Why would Brian Kemp participate in weakening the power of the executive branch of government? Is he a true constitutionalist or a saboteur? Seriously, what would keep the legislature from dismissing the chair of the Georgia Election Board, getting rid of all its members, decreeing the election for whoever they want and stealing a victory from the jaws of defeat? Nothing!

Georgia will now have separate Democratic and Republican primaries for special elections and that’s the right thing to do. Independent candidates who wish to send out absentee ballot applications to voters must clearly state that the application is not coming from a government office and is not a ballot. They are also prohibited from sending applications to voters who have already requested a ballot on their own or who have already voted absentee. So, how would a candidate know such things about a voter? Also, isn’t mailing an application against the law?

Not everything in this law is bad, but you must read through a lot of bullshit to uncover its positive aspects. That makes cheering for it difficult. Brian Kemp always seems defensive and he’s a lousy salesperson. He and other Trump boys and girls like Ron DeSantis in Florida and Greg Abbot in Texas are so busy defending themselves they never smile or explain why the things they do are good for the people they represent. They carry forward the grievance philosophy of telling us how bad things are and then make them worse by idiotic laws such as prohibiting food and water for voters. They care more about telling voters what they can’t do while not giving a hoot about saving voters lives by mandating mask wearing. They’re more like nuns than leaders. Away with that wooden ruler, Mr. Kemp, just make it easier to vote!

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES

Should We Take Matt Gaetz Seriously?

I have always disliked two kinds of people. One is a person who relishes kicking a guy when he’s down and the other is a person who has inherited his affluence and power and misuses them to abuse people. I am not describing Donald John Trump, although he is guilty as charged, I am talking about the Representative of the Congressional 1st District of Florida, Matt Gaetz.

A while ago I suggested here that we should use the popular “cancel culture” to cast off young Matthew, but ultimately decided that was a foolish idea because it would probably give us another like Marjorie Taylor Greene. But let’s focus on Rep. Gaetz and who he is.

Gaetz was born in Hollywood, Florida in 1982, making him 38 years of age. He grew up in a house that was used in the film The Truman Show. As of 2018, his parents still lived in that Seaside, Florida house. A sign on their white picket fence reads, “the Truman house” but it has nothing to do with Harry Truman.

How did Matt get so powerful so fast? Well, that’s where his father Don Gaetz comes in. See, old Don was immensely powerful in Florida politics. He served in the Florida Legislature from 2006 to 2014 and during some of those years he was the President of the Florida Senate. Don sent his son to Florida State for a B.S. degree, then Matthew attended the College of William and Mary where he got a law degree.

Young Gaetz worked at a law firm in Fort Walton Beach, Florida which is near his home in Pensacola. His old man groomed him for the family business and Matt started his political career at age 25. He represented the 4th district in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 to 2016, when he was elected to the US House of Representatives, where he’s been reelected two times since.

Gaetz became a supreme Donald Trump fanboy. Documentaries have shown him calling Trump at all times of the night and day to give him pep talks, advice and major ego stroking. I’ve always viewed the Trump/Matt relationship as a father/son situation. Remember, Matt’s father’s name is Donald and, while I am not a shrink, I think Matthew’s desire and efforts to please the Donald would be a great topic for a psyche class term paper.

When US Representative Liz Cheney voted to impeach Donald Trump, Matt felt he needed to protect his father, ah, I mean, his “president.” Gaetz traveled to Wyoming to be part of an Anti-Liz Cheney event and a small part of my brain whispered, “He better be careful.” You see, Liz Cheney’s father is the Dick, as in Dick Cheney, who has a soft spot for his daughter and will protect her in all ways at every turn. Now here’s a quick backstory. Not only was Dick Cheney, George W. Bush’s VP, but for years he ran the CIA and then worked for Haliburton. He’s the best example of a “deep state” you could find in America.

In a statement sent to Insider, Matt Gaetz’ office said that, “Over the past several weeks, my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name. We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals.” Okay, so Mr. Gaetz confirmed the investigation but deflected to a claim of extortion. First, if he’s involved in some kind of sting operation why the hell is he talking about it?

Next, he’s going on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to explain things? I’ll get to Tucker, but let’s back up a bit. Matt Gaetz is no stranger to controversy. Remember that he wore a gasmask in Congress to poke fun at Covid-19. There have also been some ethics inquiries into him.

In June 2020, following an argument with then-Representative Cedric Richmond, Gaetz said he had been living with a 19-year-old immigrant from Cuba, Nestor Galbán, since Galbán was 12 and he considers Nestor to be his son. Later he clarified that Galbán is the brother of an ex-girlfriend and that Galbán spends time with his sister, with Gaetz’ family and with Gaetz. In 2017, Gaetz called Galbán “my helper.”

In December 2020, Gaetz announced his engagement to his girlfriend Ginger Luckey. She’s the sister of major Republican donor Palmer Luckey, who was the founder of Oculus, a virtual reality company. So, punk, are you feeling lucky? December 2020 is also when the probe by the William Barr Department of Justice was opened into Gaetz, who allegedly had sex with a minor and engaged in sex-trafficking. He admitted on Tucker Carlson’s show that he flew a young lady to Washington.

Here’s another tidbit from USA Today. In late 2017 Gaetz was the only member of the House to vote against a bill allowing the Department of Transportation to assist in combating human trafficking. Gaetz argued that he was against expansion of the federal government, which seems like a lame reason to me.

Tucker & Gaetz

Now here’s where today’s news gets weird. According to the Washington Post, Gaetz said to Tucker Carlson, “You and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there, and I brought a friend of mine, you’ll remember her.” Matthew connected that friend to an ongoing Justice Department investigation saying that the woman had been “threatened by the FBI” and told “she could face trouble” if she didn’t confess to authorities that Gaetz was involved in a “pay-for-play scheme.” I don’t know how many FBI questioning sessions Mr. Gaetz is aware of, but generally the agents give you a standard warning that if you lie to an FBI agent it can be used against you in court.

Then, live on-air, Carlson took on an appearance of stunned astonishment and said, “I don’t remember the woman you are speaking of or the context at all, honestly.” At the end of Matt’s appearance Carlson seemed to distance himself from the Gaetz tale by saying, “That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.” Okay, Carlson didn’t want to be used, how rare for him.

Something is going on with Gaetz. He’s been alienated by many of the old guard Republicans in Congress, even though they won’t publicly admit it, and several news outlets are reporting that Gaetz has expressed doubts about seeking reelection in 2022. The word on the street is he’s considering a job at the conservative media outlet Newsmax, which would be a good landing if this investigation doesn’t lead to charges.

I live in Florida and have little to no respect for Matt Gaetz. He seems to be a pathological liar, just like his hero Trump, and I cannot understand why anyone would take him seriously. The problem with “made men” and what we used to call “lucky sperm” in business is that Daddy can protect for only so long and their assumed power can be taken away at any time, especially after making a big mistake. We need to know more about Gaetz’ relationship with Nestor Galbán and we certainly should hear from the 17 year-old young woman. I’m not out to cancel Matt Gaetz. I just want him to be honest and transparent, you know, like the glass house he lives in.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


THE REBIRTH OF TRUTH

Fake Bipartisanship or Real Possibilities?

Politics has always been a game within a game. Congresspeople constantly lie with no consequences other than being censured, thrown off committees, or shunned, all about equal to being sent to the timeout chair. Regardless of whatever turmoil and havoc they may reap, they cannot be sued. They may attempt to hide their lies by saying they are only “asking questions” or that their comments are protected by the First Amendment. Okay.

Then there’s real life with potential consequences for lying. When a person publicly lies about a company or a person and the accused is then harmed by the false information, especially if it affects their livelihood, they can seek damages in court. It was not surprising we learned of another lawsuit being filed against people who for weeks stated that the 2020 election was rigged and that two companies conspired to cause the election loss of Donald John Trump. Those lies hurt both of the businesses and they are not about to take the damaging lies lying down.

According to CNBC, Legal experts say that Dominion’s and Smartmatic’s defamation cases against Trump backers are credible. While the voting system makers have asked for billions of dollars in damages, those figures could change dramatically as the cases unfold. Both companies’ cases against Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell may prove more straightforward than Smartmatic’s suit against Fox News, which has claimed that it was just “covering the news,” but this morning another lawsuit was delivered to Fox News. See the Sydney Powell lawsuit here: gov.uscourts.dcd.225699.22.2-3

Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, arguing that, in an effort to boost faltering ratings, the cable news giant falsely claimed that the voting company had rigged the 2020 election. This was reported in a USA Today story.

The News Corporation is the company that owns Fox News, and I assume they will defend against the lawsuit by saying that Trump and his minions made a public claim that they were merely “covering the news” related to that. Sure, they may have reported on the more than fifty lawsuits that Trump and his campaign had lost challenging the results of the election, but the greater number of stories they ran on the voter fraud claim certainly exceeded the boundaries of fair and balanced coverage.

I suppose Fox could argue in court the difference between the “news” part of their channel and the “entertainment” or “opinion” hosts who anchor at night, but their overarching purpose is right there in their name, Fox News. They promote themselves as a news source and that implies professional journalistic traditions, reasonable sourcing and comprehensive investigating before airing allegations of fraud. I’m sure the Fox News lawyers had a bad day when they heard this next item reported by NBC News.

Ex-Trump attorney Sidney Powell’s weekslong campaign to invalidate the results of the 2020 election was not based in fact, her lawyers said, “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.” Here’s where I must make the obligatory statement that I am not an attorney, but I have played one on YouTube videos, and this sounds like total bullshit.

Should Ms. Powell echo this defense under oath, she is either saying that she was lying all along and knew she was lying, therefore, her words pulled a major news network into the fraud of saying there was a fraud, or she’s saying that the people owning, managing and running Fox News are so stupid they were easily manipulated into believing the lies. If Fox owned a licensed, over-the-air TV or radio station in the US, they could easily be challenged and made to relinquish their license to a more responsible broadcaster. Cable channels are not licensed so they face no such jeopardy.

It’s juries, judges and legal scholars, not politicians, who are piloting the rebirth of truth in America. We are watchful when a case goes to court, especially the highest court, but once the Supremes speak there is no further recourse. If all their lawsuits are won in court, the combined payout to Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic could amount to more than $5 billion. Fox News will surely settle out of court, but for Ms. Powell and Rudy Giuliani, judgements against them could mean bankruptcy and disbarment. Sydney Powell’s admission of continuously repeating a false claim means certain disbarment.

Some people see defending the Constitution and protecting the integrity of the election process in this country as a bipartisan cause, but that is not at all correct. By their actions of introducing and passing measures in state legislatures that can best be called voter suppression, it’s clear that Republicans are running scared. Because they lost so many contests, like the House, the Senate and the White House, they are trying to “fix” their election problems by making it harder for Democrats and older Black Americans to vote. In clear daylight, they are trying to turn off the lights by disenfranchising voters right and left.

Maybe Sydney and Rudy can just say they were hired guns and they believed what their client, Donald Trump, was telling them and we’ve covered that matter on these pages in the past. An attorney cannot knowingly lie in court, even if their client assures them it’s the truth. Whenever a lawyer admits to knowing they were lying, they’re in trouble. After the fiasco news conference when Ms. Powell lied about fraud within the voting machine companies without offering evidence of her claims, the Trump people put out a statement saying she was no longer “officially” on the Trump legal team but would be working independently. Okay, I’m not sure what that status means, but she never stopped with the lies.

Sydney Powel is finished as a lawyer. Exercising my First Amendment rights, I’ll add that she’s a damn shitty attorney and anti-American zealot with no moral grounding. Rudy Giuliani is a washed-up, blathering old fool with a misguided view of justice, the law and truth. The legal profession should expel them both and clean up the craft.

American Protest

Some people in this country believe that everything is rigged, but such misinformation can be slowly dissolved with sharp reporting presented with clarity and facts. Things change quickly, Andrew Cuomo was a kind of hero at the beginning of the pandemic, now he has been brought down to size by the truth. I don’t care what party he represents, he’s a pig and a liar, “Out, damn spot.”

Slowly but surely people are starting to realize that Donald Trump lied all the time and was instrumental in the loss of lives during the Capitol Hill insurrection. Today, Trump went on TV and said the people from his rally were met with open arms by the Capital Police force. No one pushed back to challenge him about the loss of life caused by the riots. If Fox News, One America News Network and Newsmax fail to provide truthful journalism, they must pay a price.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


WHY REPUBLICANS HATE VOTERS

GOP Thinks Voting Should Be Hard

My head is about to explode from the sheer number of people who lie to get what they want, but before I have a grand mal seizure, I’ll take a deep breath and follow the facts. It seems that one of our political parties has a plank in their platform against voting. Some call proposed voting law changes suppression, some call them racism, I call them what they are, BULLSHIT!

In our representative government, we elect people to carry out the general wishes of the citizens. Once we get past, “all men are created equal” and “the pursuit of happiness,” we all must go with the will of the majority. Sure, a minority can voice their grievances and wants, that’s America buddy, but when the vote is taken in Congress, the new bill, or act or regulation has been passed by the majority. It’s important that our elections be open and fair so the winners ascend to power with the mandate of a majority of voters.

That brings us to sore losers, who tend to get aggressive right after they get shellacked in an election. Republicans took a beating in 2020, and their first reaction was trying to use the ancient form of voter suppression called Gerrymandering. I won’t get into the details of that evil act here, so if you’re interested you can learn a lot by following the link. The next thing the bastards try to pull off is enacting laws to keep certain “kinds” or classes from registering and voting.

What Would MLK Jr. Think

From History.com we see, “Jim Crow laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation. Named after a Black minstrel show character, the laws—which existed for about 100 years, from the post-Civil War era until 1968—were meant to marginalize African Americans by denying them the right to vote.” Using tactics from voter taxes to intelligence tests, the white men in power wanted to keep the African Americans from having a say in the American political system. They feared the leaders that Black people would elect.

And that brings us to what is happening today. The election of 2020 took place during a global pandemic, and most reasonable people welcomed changes to voting procedures. Both Republicans and Democrats endorsed and allowed mail-in voting. the expansion of absentee voting and early vote counting to speed up the process, but no one foresaw that this would dramatically increase the number of people voting. 66.7% of those eligible to vote engaged in the process and only two previous elections had greater turnouts, 82.6% in 1876 and 73.7% in 1900.

Out of 239 million eligible voters, more than 159 million registered voters cast ballots in the 2020 general election. Some people are arguing that there are only 133 million registered voters in the US, but that’s not true. So, what is true? I spent some time on the US Bureau of Census website today, and I could not find the exact number of registered voters for 2020, short of making my own spreadsheet of all the state data posted there. According to Reuters they first reported that, “Around 239,247,182 people were eligible to vote in 2020. While there is no available “official” figure yet for nationwide registered voters for 2020, most centers for voter information believe that 66.7% turned out to vote.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “As of February 19, 2021, state lawmakers have carried over, pre-filed, or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access in 43 states, and 704 bills with provisions that expand voting access in a different set of 43 states. Note that, in some cases, a single bill can have provisions with both restrictive and expansive effects.”

These legal maneuvers are based on two factors. First, the Republicans lost the White House, and they believe Donald Trump’s argument about people rigging the system with mail-in voting. Second, they believe that some of the Covid-19 provisions should be rolled back. They have an ongoing belief that registration should be more difficult, and that people should show a picture ID and vote in person to guarantee the accuracy of the vote. As our modern, technological world advances, these Luddites are saying we should go back to paper ballots, in person voting and NO MAIL-IN VOTING. That last bit is based on another tall tale of Donald Trump that Republicans will never win another election if mail-in voting is allowed. Why are they listening to him? He’s a loser.

I must ask if writing a law about something you don’t like will hurt Americans. Having any Democrat in office will not hurt citizens. After all, they voted for him or her and we’ve had many of them in office throughout the course of our history. Of course, you don’t like losing, but that is no reason to mess up the system. It’s not just voting rights that you are attempting to take away.

More than 82 anti-transgender bills were introduced in the 2021 state legislative sessions, surpassing the 2020 total of 79, and marking the highest number of anti-transgender bills in history. It’s clear that many people are bothered by certain types of sexual orientation, but those citizens aren’t hurting anyone. These state laws are focused on sports and restrooms. They don’t want a young man who identifies as a woman playing women’s sports because, they say, that’s unfair. And even more important than Betsy not getting that college sports scholarship is her having to pee in the same room as “those people.” Are we really going to write laws that hurt minorities?

Our representative form of government is being challenged left and right. You may think that Marjorie Taylor Greene is unfit to be in Congress, but hey, the voters put her there. I am sure if a reasonable Democrat ran against her today, she would not be reelected, but it’s too late now. The only way to stop her from pushing her whacky beliefs and conspiracies on America is a majority of voters having their say at the polls. If rolling back voter’s rights keeps people like Ms. Greene in Congress, I am against them. If blocking Blacks from voting on Sunday is suppressing the vote, courts should just rule against it. If Georgia makes a law that prohibits bringing water and food to people in a voting line, then something is seriously wrong. If Sunday voting and mail-in voting are allowed, maybe there wouldn’t be those long lines.

The headline on this post might make people defensive but let me share a recent encounter with one of my doctors. He actually said, “We have too many people voting in elections. We should only let certain people vote.” That is the same argument John Adams and Thomas Jefferson put forth to keep women from voting. They believed women would disrupt the results because they were so ill-informed. Of course, African Americans couldn’t vote because they weren’t even “whole people.”

Republicans would be better off finding more appealing candidates than suppressing the vote, and Democrats would be more productive if they didn’t have to run around suing those states trying to pass unfair voting laws. Let the people vote. When they do, sometimes you get a Biden and other times you get a Greene. Let’s just make sure the good guys do the right things and let the votes fall as they will.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 

 


THE CASE AGAINST CUOMO

Imagine if everyone told the truth

I’ve always reacted strangely to the term “family values.” Maybe it’s because of the Soprano family. If you said the wrong thing there, you might end up sleeping with the fish. Could it be because of the Mansion family? If you didn’t kill as directed, you would be shunned by the group and banned from having sex with the cult leader. As for Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York State, the case against him is raw and unseemly.

The Cuomo Family 1977

Let’s start with some basics. Andrew is the middle child of three who Mario and Matilda Cuomo brought into this world. Mario was the Governor of New York for eleven years. His father, Andrea Cuomo, was from Nocera Inferiore, Campania, Italy and his mother, Immacolata (née Giordano) was from Tramonti, Campania, Italy. Andrew’s grandparents ran a grocery store in South Jamaica, Queens.

This story is legend. Mario, the current governor’s father, played baseball in college and was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates for $2,000. Cuomo played center field in the minor leagues and he had a .244 batting average. He was struck in the back of the head by a pitch, there were no helmets back then, and was hospitalized for six days. Mario left baseball, went back to school and became a lawyer. The rest, as they say, is history.

Andrew Cuomo followed in his father’s footsteps. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University in 1979 and a Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School in 1982. He was paid one dollar a day while working for his father in Albany. Andrew was known as the “enforcer.” It was said that his father played the “good cop” and he played the “bad cop.”

Margaret, Andrew’s older sister is a board-certified radiologist who specializes in body imaging, involving CT, ultrasound, MRI, and interventional procedures. Much of her work has been dedicated to the diagnosis of cancer and AIDS and she is the author of the book, A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New World and the Real Promise of Prevention, which certainly speaks to her mission in life.

Andrew’s little brother is Christopher and he also has a legal background, having earned his undergraduate degree at Yale and his J.D. at Fordham. You know him as Chris Cuomo, the better-looking brother and nightly news anchor on CNN.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo

Cuomo family members are overachievers and, until the death of Mario on January 1, 2015, the family was a typical tightknit Italian group overseen by the patriarch. Mario died just a few hours after seeing his son sworn in as Governor, which in New York takes place on the first day of the year.

Now, there’s a major story about Andrew being accused of some terrible conduct. His years in politics and being the Governor of New York certainly have painted a giant target on his back, but his own behavior may also be in play. There was the appointee donations controversy, during which Cuomo collected $890,000 from 24 of his appointees, as well as $1.3 million from their spouses, children and businesses. Some donations were made to Cuomo just days after the donor was appointed. Cuomo disbanded the very ethics commission that was to investigate him. Then there was the Hurricane Sandy controversary, where it’s alleged that the Cuomo administration used $140 million, including $40 million of federal disaster relief funds, to buy national TV ads pitching new business investment to New York State. There’s also political corruption. In 2016, Joseph Percoco, a close friend and righthand man to Cuomo, was indicted as part of a bribery investigation, The Governor was not charged in that matter, but it’s easy to see that Andrew Cuomo is not a stranger to controversy.

After being the calming voice of reason and handing out strong advice daily on COVID-19, Cuomo made a colossal mistake. On March 25, 2020, he and the New York State Department of Health issued a directive requiring nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients. This order was revoked on May 10, 2020, after widespread criticism from medical experts who claimed as many as 4,500 COVID-19 infected patients had been sent to nursing homes in New York State and over 6,000 nursing home residents had died of COVID. What is now known is Cuomo ordered the mislabeling of COVID deaths so he wouldn’t have to endure any sharp criticism from former President Donald Trump. Bully avoids bully.

That, however, was a single shoe. The other one dropped on December 13, 2020, when Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to Cuomo alleged, “[the Governor] sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it and watched.” Boylan further alleged that Cuomo “exists without ethics,” and “takes advantage of people, including me,” and she added that he ran a “toxic team environment.” Well, that was one person’s opinion, but it didn’t take long before other women, both in and out of government, came forward with their own sordid stories.

As of this writing, there are seven accusers. The firestorm ignited a rage against Cuomo that motivated the two US Senators of New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, to issue a joint statement demanding that Andrew resign as governor.

Through a weird concoction of words, Cuomo is refusing to resign and has taken the right-wing slogan “cancel culture” as a shield to protect him from his accusers. WTF? Yes, seven women are not on par with Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, but it’s disturbing when there’s even a suspicion of a public figure exhibiting such overt, aggressive behavior to women. It’s not like he paid a porn star and Playboy bunny to shut up about affairs. He wasn’t accused of pinning someone up against a wall in the dressing room of a well-known store and having his way with her. I mean, who would do that? In the Cuomo matter, however, the people of New York deserve the truth.

Just once, I would appreciate a direct and honest statement, something like, “Okay, you got me. I was raised to be a good Catholic, and I go to confession, but let me confess to you, the American public. I am a regressive, old-fashioned male chauvinist pig. Yes, I assumed the women would just let me do whatever I wanted, after all, I am a powerful man who thinks he’s a good-looking guy. Okay, not that good looking, but better looking than my dad. I figured if I just went for it, they would melt like chocolate in my hands and put out for me. I wasn’t hitting on dogs, those chicks were hot! What would Frank have done? Sinatra, Sei scemo!”

I can imagine the reporters writing as fast as they can while raising their hands, but he cuts them off, “Yeah, I lied. That’s what you do when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, or anywhere else. Hey, it’s obvious that these women are just out to get me. They don’t know what they’ve been missing. Let me be perfectly clear, I did not have sex with that … oh, wait, that line’s already been used. I never ever touched anyone inappropriately or harassed anyone. Yes, there’s a fucking picture of me doing that but, seriously, I am all powerful and I get to decide what sexual harassment is, and what corruption is, and I was born to be the governor. Do you know who I am? I am not going to leave, and you can all go ‘Vai a cacare!’”

Here’s one more point from me, your writer. I get the point about “due process,” but what exactly will an investigation show us? Will it codify and legalize the statements of each woman? Of course, it will be on the record, under oath and all that, but is it necessary? Why would any woman go public and make a statement that she was touched or harassed and then change it under oath? Why would she put herself through so much grief and embarrassment; just to stick it to the man?

What would the final report of the investigators say? “Yes, Mr. Cuomo engaged in inappropriate behavior, but didn’t break any laws.” Of course, it’s not against any law in the USA to be an asshole, but a commission cannot fire a governor. They just tell us what we already know. What if the opposite happens? Say that the investigative body reports they didn’t find the accusations credible. Well, it would be the same as has been seen in thousands of American courtrooms throughout our history. An official body of the government would say, “The women were lying.”

Why do we need an investigation? It’s not “cancel culture,” it’s bringing down a vulture. He’s probably always been in search of meat (love), but this time CUOMO is the MEAT. The lust he was after is not the lust of the mob, who want to pull him out of office and onto the thruway. He’s going to get impeached and convicted of being himself, just another privileged politician who failed to realize one simple rule: Don’t eat where you work. Unless he gets hit in the back of the head with a baseball, he will never change. I feel sorry for his mother, Matilda. And to think some people wanted to change out Biden for Cuomo. Sleepy Joe is exactly who we need now.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.